Updates from July, 2006 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Joe 16:24 on July 31, 2006 Permalink
    Tags: Dave   

    WordPress 2.0.4 security update 

    Two days ago, WordPress 2.0.4 has been released. Installation (or Upgrading WordPress) is not too difficult and highly recommended, as there’s at lease one security patch involved.

    Speaking of which, the discussion around security issues always seems to trigger some hefty debates. Whether to reveal every problem immediately, or to keep it under the hood until a solution exists, or even don’t mention security at all, just make the fixed version available with some vague improvement promises. Well, read this one for yourself here: Dr Dave » Followup on WordPress Security Issue.

    And BTW, my microsummaries plugin works fine with 2.0.4.

     
  • Joe 12:51 on July 28, 2006 Permalink  

    Wij vertrouwen stemcomputers niet! 

    Op initiatief van onder andere Rop Gonggrijp is de campagne Wij vertrouwen stemcomputers niet gestart. Hierbij wordt aandacht gevraagd voor het fundamentele probleem van de huidige inzet van stemcomputers bij verkiezingen.

    Het fundamentele probleem is de oncontroleerbaarheid, achteraf valt er niets te bewijzen als er twijfel zou rijzen over een aspect van de hele stemprocedure. Alles zit in een feitelijk oncontroleerbare black box, de stemcomputer. Het gaat hierbij om de zelfde controleerbaarheid waarvoor wij waarnemers sturen naar landen die net opkrabbelen uit een dictatuur, waar verkiezingen traditioneel omgeven zijn door een cultuur van corruptie en fraude. Hoe zou zo’n waarnemer staan te kijken als er gebruik werd gemaakt van een gesloten computerprogramma?

    Inmiddels krijgt de campagne veel aandacht, zowel in de media als bij de politiek. Volgens mij meer dan terecht, lees Vraag en Antwoord – wijvertrouwenstemcomputersniet en de conclusie is onontkoombaar. Een citaat:

    Zijn jullie tegen moderne techniek? Willen jullie de vooruitgang tegenhouden?
    Integendeel! Bij “Wij vertrouwen stemcomputers niet” stikt het juist van de programmeurs, netwerkspecialisten, computerveiligheidsexperts, systeembeheerders en andere techneuten. We genieten zelf elke dag met volle teugen van de mogelijkheden van de moderne techniek.

    Op een mooie luchtige manier is de kern van het betoog als strip getekend door Koen Hottentot, in de strip De Verkiezingskast.

    Zorgen we er voor dat we nog dit jaar weer met potlood en papier stemmen?

    Controleerbare uitslagen nu! - www.wijvertrouwenstemcomputersniet.nl

     
    • Jaap 09:53 on July 30, 2006 Permalink

      Hoe werkt dat protest in het stembureau, hoe kan ik dat doen bijv. ?
      Moet ik vooraf ook nog iets doen, zoals een vergunning of brief aan stembureau/gemeente of zo?

    • Joe 14:05 on July 30, 2006 Permalink

      Jaap,

      De site “wijvertrouwen…” raadt vooral aan om zoveel mogelijk bekendheid te geven aan dit thema; lees de site, vertel het rond aan vrienden en familie.
      Als blijkt dat de zorgen rond de stemcomputer breed maatschappeljk gedeeld worden, versterkt dat de basis onder de campagne zoals die nu loopt. En zullen de politieke partijen gedwongen worden een standpunt in te nemen, het op de agenda te plaatsen. Kortom, zegt het voort

    • Joe 10:58 on August 4, 2006 Permalink

      @verkiezingenlive: He, wat jammer nou… in de FAQ staat duidelijk als antwoord op de samenzweringstheorieën-vraag (8x woordwaarde):

      Nee. We realiseren ons dat het onderwerp stemcomputers een magische aantrekkingskracht heeft op iedereen die bezig is met breinmanipulatie vanuit satellieten, graancirkels, nieuwe theorieën voor de moord op JFK en wat al niet. Maar wij hebben daar allemaal niks mee, en we willen er ook niet mee geassocieerd worden.

      Punt gemist dus. En nog even kort mijn belangrijkste bezwaar: de controleerbaarheid, en echt, dan is de meest basale low-tech (het papier) de beste oplossing, Techniek is prachtig (ik verdien er mijn geld mee) maar wel als oplossing voor de juiste problemen graag!

      Update: overigens laat verkiezingenlive haar mening over het samenzweringsgehalte van “wijvertrouwen…” in het midden; maar ik blijf er bij dat het openen met deze quote nogal suggestief werkt.

  • Joe 15:38 on July 27, 2006 Permalink
    Tags: , , ,   

    Keeping up with change 

    Greasemonkey is a great tool for changing a web page, just after it has been loaded. But this does not work for all those Ajaxified web 2.0 pages, where content is loaded on the fly.

    There is a solution, though: just listen for DOM events which modify the page’s content. Keep up with the DOM changes so to say!

    Background

    In the days before Flickr was acquired by Yahoo, I made a Greasemonkey user script: Flickr – Link Original Image that inserts direct links to the original uploaded photos on top of thumbnails. This worked fine, by parsing the DOM just after page load and looking for every occurrence of photo thumbnails.

    Now, after the recent relaunch of Flickr with dynamic Ajax loading, this script fails for those dynamically inserted thumbnails. Simply because they do not exist in the DOM when the page completes loading.

    Solution

    DOM level 2 specifies a couple of Mutation events. Now I register an event handler for the relevant events and take action whenever an image gets inserted, removed or moved around.

    (More …)

     
  • Joe 10:19 on July 22, 2006 Permalink
    Tags:   

    Improved GM Microsummaries generator 

    Following up on Create Microsummaries with Greasemonkey, I added a user interface for choosing between an element’s ID attribute or a simple location path component.

    This consists of a floating panel, where the relevant elements are shown with their ID selected. You then can choose to use the simple location path instead, if more appropriate. The first element with ID selector will be used as the XPath root (looking from right to left, that is).

    Example XPath selector panel

    Update: WordPress messes up the HTML, using screenshot image (and see script page for a better example)

    GM Microsummary Generator UI

    Leaving the default choice results in:

    //div[@id='main']/ul[3]/li[3]/a

    Deselecting every ID attribute results in XPath:

    /html/body/div/div/ul[3]/li[3]/a

    Get the user script here: Generate a Microsummaries Generator for Firefox 2.x

     
  • Joe 10:54 on July 21, 2006 Permalink
    Tags: , Greasemonkey Building, , user interface solution,   

    Create Microsummaries with Greasemonkey 

    Building your own Microsummaries Generator in XML for the new Firefox 2.0 (beta 1) can be a daunting task.

    Figuring out the whole XPath string can be an annoying experience, especially counting the number of nested divs, table rows and such. To alleviate this, Greasemonkey comes to the rescue with my Microsummary Generator user script.

    The general idea is that you start the script on your target page. Then you all individually discernible elements on the page will be highlighted when you move the mouse over the (just like for instance DOM Inspector). When you click the desired element, the script generates the proper Microsummaries Generator XML document for this element.

    Determining the XPath for the Microsummary headline is currently done with these simple rules in mind:

    Calculate the full XPath location path, down to the document root element (html). This results in a full nesting of named elements, indexed by their position if not the first of the same kind. Example:

        /html/body/div/div[2]/table/tr[3]/td[2]/a

    If an element has an ID attribute, take this as the starting point. Example:

        //div[@id='stats']/span[2]

    The general idea is that an “id’ed div” bears more semantic meaning, as intended by the website architect, and as such is much more likely to survive (minor) design and markup changes.
    This, however, fails whenever an ID is generated for some other reason, like the title elements of this weblog (id=”post-31″). I have no solution for this yet, but I’m considering some user interface solution like this:

        /html/body/div/div[2]/table/tr[3]/td[2]/a
        |          |   |      |     |
        |          |   |      |     +- ( ) id='id2e7f2ab'
        |          |   |      +------- (*) id='statstab'
        |          |   +-------------- ( ) id='stats'
        |          +------------------ ( ) id='main'
        +----------------------------- ( ) use root element

    Description: every element, which has an ID attribute, can be selected as the root of the XPath expression. 

    So the current version of the script has a few rough edges and there are still many manual steps needed in order to get the resulting XML Generator properly installed into Firefox. Be sure to share your thoughts for improvement!

     
    • Johan Sundström 18:42 on July 21, 2006 Permalink

      id=”post-31″ might not have been the ideal example of a nonsemantic id IMO, but I see your point. The sketched-out UI for picking a preferred XPath reference hook looks great; it’s just the kind of tool I’d want to have in the XPath extension, or better still in FireBug.

      A GM script to do that kind of thing would be a great start, though.

  • Joe 10:37 on July 19, 2006 Permalink  

    Microsummaries Generator plugin for WordPress 

    If you’re a blogger, using WordPress, you may want to enable your blog for Microsummaries.

    I wrote a simple plugin for WordPress which just does that: it takes the title of the latest blog post and provides this as the content for a Live Title within Firefox 2.0.

    For downloading the plugin and installation instructions (really simple!), head over to the WP-Microsummary plugin page.

    Enjoy, and don’t forget to share your thoughts!

     
    • Joefish 05:40 on August 5, 2006 Permalink

      No one’s commented on this yet? That’s surprising.

      I like this plugin. I snagged it as soon as I saw it on wp-plugins.net.

    • Joe Lencioni 02:53 on September 8, 2006 Permalink

      I tried to install this and it wasn’t working, so I went directly to http://shiftingpixel.com/microsummary and it was giving me a bunch of errors. So, I cracked open your code and noticed that it was looking in wp-content/plugins/microsummary instead of wp-content/plugins/microsummaries like your documentation reads.

      Just a heads up in case anybody else is having troubles.

    • Joe 10:54 on September 8, 2006 Permalink

      You’re right, I stand corrected and have improved the installation instructions with some more examples. Thanks for pointing this out!

    • Skippy 09:56 on October 17, 2006 Permalink

      Perhaps it would be worth mentioning that the tag gets inserted via the call to wp_head(). I had a theme where wp_head() was commented out in header.php, so as you can see it’s not a given.

    • Tom Edwards 23:10 on October 19, 2006 Permalink

      Good to see things already rolling. When I had my own XSLT microsummaries, is_single pages had the number of comments instead of the site’s most recent post; is there any chance of that sort of functionality being added to the plug-in?

      Some other page-specific microsummary ideas I’ve had have been the latest post in a category and the number of results returned from a search. :)

    • Jared 22:29 on October 24, 2006 Permalink

      This worked perfectly for me. I was working on something similar when I ran into this plug in when I was troubleshooting my noob PHP skills. Thanks!

    • Tim W. 02:08 on October 25, 2006 Permalink

      I’ve installed your plugin, but when I try to add a Live Title bookmark to my site I see a “404 Not Found” instead of the title of my latest post. Any ideas?

      Thanks,
      Tim
      mtannoyances.com

    • Joe 09:03 on October 25, 2006 Permalink

      @Tim: without further details it is not possible to know what is going on. You may want to look at how your WP Theme is working and look for the call to wp_head() in the loop (see comment by Skippy on this page). Also, did you try to rebuild the permalink structure, just to be sure?

      Update: the microsummary plugin assumes that the Permalink rewriting mechanism is always available. This is not true, a blog owner may choose to leave the default option in place (which is: do not use permalinks) an then the plugin breaks.

      I’m working on a version which fixes this problem right now.

      For the time being, you may choose to enable rewrite rules. In WP-Admin, choose Options / Permalinks and then either “Date and Name based” or “Numeric” (or even a Custom rule if you’re fancy).

    • Mosey 13:33 on October 25, 2006 Permalink

      I’m looking forward to installing and using this plugin. Just found out yesterday about Firefox 2.0’s newest feature. Joomla doesn’t have a plugin/extension that covers this – but am delighted to find that WP does! I think as Firefox 2.0 rolls out the popularity of this plugin will increase. Will write again with any results once site is completed/plugin installed. Thanks again.

    • ketsugi 12:44 on October 26, 2006 Permalink

      1. The URL rewriting doesn’t always work. For example, my permalinks are in the form of http://ketsugi.com/category-name/post-title and this tends to break plugin permalinks. It would be nice to have an option to use the direct link to the PHP file.

      2. It doesn’t seem to work with WordPress 2.1 (which is currently in development).


      Fatal error: Call to undefined function: have_posts() in /home/ketsugic/public_html/wp/wp-content/plugins/microsummary/microsummary.php on line 109

    • Joe 00:04 on November 8, 2006 Permalink

      @ketsugi: Indeed, URL rewriting seems to work differently for some customized schemes. I removed the rewriting stuff, the simple query string approach should work in all situations.

      Re your second point: I finally found time to install WordPress 2.1 on a test machine. The plugin works just fine in this setup, I was not able to reproduce this error.

      However, some themes may be problematic; read more here: WP Themes and Microsummary plugin.

    • Joseph 21:59 on December 12, 2006 Permalink

      What I want to do on my blog, is every few hours take the oldest post and move it to the
      front of the queue, all automatically. Anyone know if there is a plugin that can do this or
      a simple way to set up another plugin to do this (use my own feed perhaps)?
      Thanks.

    • Jermaine 13:08 on December 18, 2006 Permalink

      Nice work on the plugin, i will test it right away.

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